What is wisdom? How can we measure this complex construct in a valid way? Why do some people develop extraordinary wisdom over the course of their lives, while most of us … well … do not? How does wisdom manifest itself in different professional groups, such as teachers or managers? Whom do people consider as wise and why, and are there cultural differences in people’s conceptions of wisdom? Why does wisdom-related knowledge often not get translated into actual wise behavior? How can we make the world a wiser place? Our research group investigates all these and other questions about wisdom.
We study wisdom from a variety of perspectives. In the MORE Life Experience Model, we proposed that wisdom develops over the life span through an interplay of life challenges and intra- and interpersonal psychological resources – a theory that we are currently testing in a longitudinal study. On the other hand, we are interested in contextual and situational factors that foster or hinder the manifestation of wisdom. Our current research project investigates structural and contextual factors that enable teachers and managers to accumulate and utilize professional wisdom. The project members’ individual research projects are described below.
Judith Glück has been professor of developmental psychology at University of Klagenfurt since 2007. She received her diploma in psychology in 1995 and her doctoral degree in 1999, both at the University of Vienna. From 1999 to 2002, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany. From 2002 to 2007, she was an associate professor of developmental psychology at University of Vienna. She is married with two children, born in 2002 and 2007.
Judith’s main topic of research is wisdom psychology. She is interested in the development of wisdom through an interplay of life experiences and internal and external resources, new methods of measuring wisdom, situational and contextual predictors of wisdom, wisdom in professional contexts, and people’s conceptions of wisdom across different cultures.
Irina Auer-Spath’s research focus is on interpersonal interactions and their influence on the development of wisdom. In her dissertation project, she examines the manifestation of wisdom in long-term intimate relationships and the role of relationship experiences for the development of wisdom. In the future, she wants to investigate wisdom- fostering and wisdom- hindering social interactions by observing couples during collaborative problem-solving. Some of her related research interests are self-expansion in and through relationships, the relation between attachment -patterns and wisdom, the teaching of wisdom by parents and educators, as well as wisdom in school contexts (teaching and learning). Irina’s research orientation is informed by lifespan developmental, personality (and social) psychology as well as family, relationship and attachment research. To capture the complexity of these topics, she uses diverse qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
Irina is also soon going to be a certified administrator of the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI). She is also in training as a psychotherapist in the field of Concentrative Movement Therapy (KBT).
Eva Beichler’s central research interests concern the development, manifestation and situational dependency of wisdom, emotion regulation, emotional reactivity, and morality. Currently her two main research topics are professional wisdom and wisdom in daily life, in particular concerning emotion regulation and emotional complexity. Using experience-sampling methods, her master’s thesis investigated the relationship between wisdom and emotions in the context of daily hassles and uplifts. Eva considers the integration of qualitative and quantitative methods as very important for dealing with the complexity of her research topics. For example, she uses narrative methods, qualitative content analysis, and grounded-theory analysis.
Imke Alenka Harbig’s research investigates people’s perceptions of wisdom in fiction. In her master’s thesis, she took an exemplar approach to explore which fictional characters from books, movies, TV shows, and video games people perceive as wise, why they consider them as wise, and how they believe they became wise. Combining quantitative and qualitative methods, she also examined descriptions of specific scenes in which the characters nominated most frequently – Albus Dumbledore from the “Harry Potter” series and Gandalf from “Lord of the Rings” – were perceived as extraordinarily wise. In future research, Harbig plans to study what people can learn from wise fictional characters and how wisdom can be fostered through fictional narratives.
Andreas Scherpf is interested in alternative measurement approaches in wisdom research. Using a linguistic approach, his bachelor thesis he examined dogmatism, operationalized as the proportion of dogmatic expressions in transcripts of wisdom-related interviews, as a possible indicator of wisdom-related cognition. For his master thesis, he is investigating wisdom-related differences in autobiographical memory distributions over the lifespan.
Funded Research Projects
Situational Obstacles to Professional Wisdom, FWF, 2018-2021
Life Challenges, Resources, and Wisdom, FWF, 2013-2017
Final report abstract: https://pf.fwf.ac.at/project_pdfs/pdf_final_reports/p25425e.pdf
Development and Manifestation of Wisdom in Individual Lives, FWF, 2008-2012
Final report abstract: https://pf.fwf.ac.at/project_pdfs/pdf_final_reports/p21011e.pdf
Wisdom and the Life Story: How Life Experiences Foster Wisdom, Defining Wisdom Project, University of Chicago, 2008-2010
Publications on Wisdom
Peer-reviewed journal articles
Glück, J. (in press). The important difference between psychologists’ labs and real life: Evaluating the validity of models of wisdom. [Commentary on Grossmann, Weststrate, Ardelt, Brienza, Dong, Ferrari, Fournier, Hu, Nusbaum, & Vervaeke, 2020]. Psychological Inquiry.
Asadi, S., Khorshidi, R., & Glück, J. (2019). Iranian children’s knowledge about wisdom. Cognitive Development, 52.
Glück, J., Gussnig, B., & Schrottenbacher, S. M. (2019). Wisdom and value orientations: just a projection of our own beliefs? Journal of Personality. https://authorservices.wiley.com/api/pdf/fullArticle/16637298.
Auer-Spath, I., & Glück, J. (2019). Respect, attentiveness, and growth: Wisdom and beliefs about good relationships. International Psychogeriatrics, 31, 1809-1821.
Glück, J., Bluck, S., & Weststrate, N. M. (2018). More on the MORE Life Experience Model: what we have learned (so far). The Journal of Value Inquiry. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10790-018-9661-x.pdf
Glück, J. (2018). New developments in psychological wisdom research: a growing field of increasing importance. Special issue overview. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences, 73, 1335-1338. https://academic.oup.com/psychsocgerontology/article/73/8/1335/5106011?searchresult=1
Glück, J. (2018). Measuring wisdom: existing approaches, continuing challenges, and new developments. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences, 73, 1393-1403. https://academic.oup.com/psychsocgerontology/article/73/8/1393/4769351?searchresult=1
Glück, J. (2017). „… and the wisdom to know the difference”: Scholarly success from a wisdom perspective. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12, 1148–1152. [IF: 9.305]
Weststrate, N. M., & Glück, J. (2017). Hard-earned wisdom: Exploratory processing of difficult life experience is positively associated with wisdom. Developmental Psychology, 53, 800-814.
Koller, I., Levenson, M. R., & Glück, J. (2017). What do you think you are measuring? A mixed-methods procedure for assessing the content validity of test items and theory-based scaling. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, article 126. http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00126/full.
König, S. & Glück, J. (2014). “Gratitude is with me all the time:” How gratitude relates to wisdom. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences, 69, 655-666. http://psychsocgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/69/5/655.full.pdf?etoc.
Glück, J., König, S., Naschenweng, K., Redzanowski, U., Dorner, L., Strasser, I., & Wiedermann, W. (2013). How to measure wisdom: Content, reliability, and validity of five measures. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, article 405. http://www.frontiersin.org/personality_science_and_individual_differences/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00405/abstract.
König, S. & Glück, J. (2013). Individual differences in wisdom conceptions: Relationships to gratitude and wisdom. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 77, 127-147.
Redzanowski, U. & Glück, J. (2013). Who knows who is wise? Self- and peer-ratings of wisdom. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences, 68, 391-394.
Glück, J., Bischof, B., & Siebenhüner, L. (2012). “Knows what is good and bad,” “Can teach you things,” “Does lots of crosswords:” Children’s knowledge about wisdom. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 9, 582-598.
König, S. & Glück, J. (2012). Situations in which I was wise: Autobiographical wisdom memories of children and adolescents. Journal of Research in Adolescence, 22, 512-525.
Glück, J. & Bluck, S. (2011). Laypeople’s conceptions of wisdom and its development: Cognitive and integrative views. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences, 66B, 321-324.
Staudinger, U.M. & Glück, J. (2011). Psychological wisdom research: Commonalities and differences in a growing field. Annual Review of Psychology, 62, 215-241.
Glück, J., Strasser, I., & Bluck, S. (2009). Gender differences in implicit theories of wisdom. Research in Human Development, 6, 27-44.
Glück, J. & Baltes, P.B. (2006). Using the concept of wisdom to enhance the expression of wisdom knowledge: Not the philosopher’s dream, but differential effects of developmental preparedness. Psychology and Aging, 21, 679-690.
Glück, J., Bluck, S., Baron, J. & McAdams, D. (2005). The wisdom of experience: Autobiographical narratives across adulthood. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 29, 197-208.
Bluck, S. & Glück, J. (2004). Making things better and learning a lesson: Experiencing wisdom across the lifespan. Journal of Personality, 72, 543-572.
Glück, J. (in press). Learning from life: How I became a wisdom researcher. In D. Dai & R. J. Sternberg (Eds), Decades of inquiry into human potential: Historical and contemporary perspectives across disciplines. London: Routledge.
Atwijukire, I., & Glück, J. (in press). Conceptions of wisdom in rural Uganda: A different view of what’s important in life. To appear in A. Intezari, C. Spiller, & S.-Y. Yang (Eds.), Practical wisdom and leadership in a poly-cultural world: Asian, indigenous and middle-Eastern perspectives. London: Routledge.
Glück, J. (in press). How MORE Life Experience fosters wise coping. To appear in M. Ferrari & M. Munroe (Eds.), Post-Traumatic Growth to Psychological Well-Being: Coping Wisely with Adversity. New York: Springer.
Glück, J. (2020). Intelligence and Wisdom. In R. Sternberg (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of intelligence (pp. 1140-1158). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Glück, J. (2019). Wisdom. In R. J. Sternberg & J. Funke (Eds.), The Psychology of Human Thought: An Introduction (pp. 307-326). Heidelberg, Germany: Heidelberg University Publishing.
Glück, J. (2019). Wisdom vs. populism and polarization: learning to regulate our evolved intuitions. In R. J. Sternberg, H. C. Nusbaum, & J. Glück (Eds.), Applying wisdom to contemporary world problems (pp. 81-110). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Glück, J., Sternberg, R. J., & Nusbaum, H. C. (2019). Not today, and probably not tomorrow either: obstacles to wisdom. In R. J. Sternberg, H. C. Nusbaum, & J. Glück (Eds.), Applying wisdom to contemporary world problems (pp. 445-464). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Glück, J. (2019). The development of wisdom during adulthood. In R. J. Sternberg & J. Glück (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Wisdom (pp. 323-346). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kunzmann, U. & Glück, J. (2019). Wisdom and emotion: Perspectives from lifespan developmental psychology. In R. J. Sternberg & J. Glück (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Wisdom (pp. 575-601). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sternberg, R. J. & Glück, J. (2019). Wisdom, morality, and ethics. In R. J. Sternberg & J. Glück (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of wisdom (pp. 551-574). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Sternberg, R. J. & Glück, J. (2019). Why is wisdom such an obscure field of inquiry and what can and should be done about it? In R. J. Sternberg & J. Glück (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Wisdom (pp. 783-795). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Weststrate, N. M., Bluck, S., & Glück, J. (2019). Wisdom of the crowd: Exploring people’s conceptions of wisdom. In R. J. Sternberg & J. Glück (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Wisdom (pp. 97-121). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Weststrate, N. M. & Glück, J. (2017). Wiser but not sadder, blissful but not ignorant: Exploring the co-development of wisdom and well-being over time. In M. D. Robinson & M. Eid (Eds.), The Happy Mind: Cognitive Contributions to Well-Being (pp. 459-480). New York: Springer.
Glück, J. (2016). Wisdom. In N. Pachana (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Geropsychology. New York: Springer.
Glück, J. (2015). Wisdom, Psychology of. In Wright, J. (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2nd Edition, Volume 25, p. 590-597). London: Elsevier.
Glück, J. (2014). Entwicklungspsychologie der Lebensspanne. [Life-span developmental psychology.] In R. W. Alexandrowicz, T.-C. Gablonski & J. Glück (Hrsg.), Psychologie kompakt – Theorien und Forschungsperspektiven (S. 219-236). Wien: Facultas Verlag.
König, S. & Glück, J. (2014). Wisdom. In A. C. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research (pp. 7143-7147). Dordrecht, NL: Springer.
Glück, J. & Bluck, S. (2013). The MORE Life Experience Model: A theory of the development of personal wisdom. In M. Ferrari & N. M. Weststrate (Eds.), The Scientific Study of Personal Wisdom (pp. 75-98). New York: Springer.
Glück, J. (2013). Wisdom. In D. S. Dunn (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press. Available at http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199828340/obo-9780199828340-0061.xml?rskey=iUBqe7&result=81&q=
Ainsworth, S.A., Bluck, S., & Glück, J. (2012). Experiencing wisdom across the lifespan. In N.M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (pp. 1207-1209). Heidelberg/New York: Springer.
Staudinger, U.M. & Glück, J. (2011). Wisdom and intelligence. In R. J. Sternberg & S.B. Kaufman (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence (pp. 827-846). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Glück, J. (2011). “There is no bitterness when she looks back:” Wisdom as a developmental opposite of embitterment? In M. Linden & A. Maercker (Eds.), Embitterment: Societal, Psychological, and Clinical Perspectives (pp. 70-82). Wien/New York: Springer Verlag.
Glück, J. (2010). Weisheit im “wirklichen Leben”: Ideen und Grenzen psychologischer Weisheitsforschung. [Wisdom in „real life“: Ideas and limitations of psychological wisdom research.] In B. Dorst, C. Neuen & W. Teichert (Hrsg.), Wissen und Weisheit – interdisziplinär (S. 31-51). Mannheim: Walter Verlag.
Bluck, S. & Glück, J. (2005). From the inside out: People’s implicit theories of wisdom. In R.J. Sternberg & J. Jordan (Eds.), A Handbook of Wisdom: Psychological Perspectives (pp. 84-109). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Baltes, P.B., Glück, J. & Kunzmann, U. (2002). Wisdom: Its structure and function in regulating successful lifespan development. In C.R. Snyder & S.J. Lopez (Eds.), The Handbook of Positive Psychology. (pp. 327-350). New York: Oxford University Press.
Sternberg, R. J., Nusbaum, H. C., & Glück, J. (Eds.) (2019). Applying wisdom to contemporary world problems. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Sternberg, R. J & Glück, J. (Eds.) (2019). The Cambridge Handbook of Wisdom. Cambridge University Press.
Glück, J. (2016). Weisheit – Die 5 Prinzipien des gelingenden Lebens. [Wisdom – The five principles of the good life.] Munich: Kösel.